Commensality between the Young

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The interplay of food, people and meals has in the past ten years attracted special political attention, in view of what has been called the obesity epidemic. This latter notion refers to the fact that we in the Western world are experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of people with life-threatening obesity, including a variety of health-threatening complications as a result. Interest in food and meals thus becomes not only a question of being able to understand and describe, but also a question of being able to provide effective actions that encourage a change in our behavior in dealing with food, which predominantly means to get us to reduce our caloric intake in combination with an increase in physical activity.
Through three examples drawn from current research, this chapter will argue for the appropriateness of including the social environment of our eating—commensality— much more actively in understanding what actions to take to restrict the rising obesity levels, rather than holding a narrow focus on the food’s nutritional content in combination with a demand for individual self-control. In conclusion, the concept of Foodscapes can—as a potentially fruitful analytical perspective with an interdisciplinary approach—embrace a much needed holistic understanding of the interplay between food, people and physical Space.
Translated title of the contributionCommensality mellem unge
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommensality : From Everyday Food to Feast
EditorsSusanne Kerner, Cynthia Chou, Morten Warmind
Number of pages7
Place of PublicationLondon - New York
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Publication date26 Feb 2015
ISBN (Print)978-0-8578-5680-7, 978-0-8578-5736-1
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-8578-5719-4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2015

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